Health

Nation’s Premature Birthrate on the Rise

The largest contributor of infant death in the U.S. is on the rise again for the second year in a row after nearly a decade of decline. 2016 saw that rise of preterm birth, or birth before 35 weeks of pregnancy, in states across the country, earning the nation a “C” grade on the latest March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card.

There are typically more than 380,00 preterm births in the country, but in 2016 an additional 8,000 premature births were recorded, an occurrence that puts babies at greater risk for death before their first birthday, as well as lifelong disabilities and chronic illness. The preterm birth rate nationwide increased from 9.6 percent to 9.8 percent.

“March of Dimes is dedicated to giving every baby a fair chance for a healthy start in life and our work is more vital than ever,” said March of Dimes President Stacey D. Stewart.

For more than 80 years, the nonprofit organization has advocated for pregnancy and baby health.

The rates for premature birth worsened in 43 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico and along all racial lines.

The March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card provides grades for all 50 states based on the most recent National Center for Health Statistics data.

The District’s preterm birth rate of 10.7 percent earned it a “D” on the 2017 report card, joining 11 other states.

Only four states earned an “A,” while 13 states earned a “B” and 18 got a “C.” Four states and Puerto Rico received an “F.”

The study noted a worsening in the premature birth disparity rates across racial and ethnic groups and has not shown improvement in any state since 2012.

Nationwide, Black women are 49 percent more likely to deliver preterm compared to white women, and Native American women are 18 percent more likely to deliver preterm than their white counterparts.

“The 2017 March of Dimes Report Card demonstrates that moms and babies in this country face a higher risk of preterm birth based on race and zip code,” Stewart said. “This is an unacceptable trend and it needs immediate attention.”

In D.C., the premature birth rate among Black women is 61 percent higher than the rate among all other women in the city.

Babies who survive a preterm birth often suffer from serious and lifelong health problems such as breathing problems, jaundice, vision loss, cerebral palsy and intellectual delays. Premature births account for more than $26 billion a year in avoidable medical and societal costs, according to the National Academy of Medicine.

The organization said it is taking action on multiple fronts both nationally and in communities with the greatest needs to spread innovation and create safer delivery outcomes for patients.

In the District, it operates The Stork’s Nest, a program based at Unity Parkside Health Center, that encourages high-risk and underserved pregnant women to keep prenatal appointments and participate in educational sessions. It also runs a program based at Mamatoto Village to educate perinatal health workers on birth spacing, family planning and smoking cessation during pregnancy.

Nationally, the organization says it looks to expand scientific research and increase education for women and health care professionals through social media campaigns and strengthening advocacy and programs that improve perinatal health outcomes.

“In addition to discovering new ways to prevent premature birth and improve the care that women receive, it’s essential that we improve the broader social context for health,” said Dr. Paul E. Jarris, the chief medical officer at the March of Dimes.

For national and local information, go to peristats.org.

Tags
Show More

Tatyana Hopkins – Washington Informer Contributing Writer

Tatyana Hopkins has always wanted to make the world a better place. Growing up she knew she wanted to be a journalist. To her there were too many issues in the world to pick a career that would force her to just tackle one. The recent Howard University graduate is thankful to have a job and enjoys the thrill she gets from chasing the story, meeting new people and adding new bits of obscure information to her knowledge base. Dubbed with the nickname “Fun Fact” by her friends, Tatyana seems to be full of seemingly “random and useless” facts. Meanwhile, the rising rents in D.C. have driven her to wonder about the length of the adverse possession statute of limitations (15 years?). Despite disliking public speaking, she remembers being scolded for talking in class or for holding up strangers in drawn-out conversations. Her need to understand the world and its various inhabitants frequently lands her in conversations on topics often deemed taboo: politics, religion and money. Tatyana avoided sports in high school she because the thought of a crowd watching her play freaked her out, but found herself studying Arabic, traveling to Egypt and eating a pigeon. She uses social media to scope out meaningful and interesting stories and has been calling attention to fake news on the Internet for years.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Back to top button

My News Matters to me - Washington Informer Donations

Be a Part of The Washington Informer Legacy

A donation of your choice empowers our journalists to continue the work to better inform, educate and empower you through technology and resources that you use.

Click Here Today to Support Black Press and be a part of the Legacy!

Subscribe today for free and be the first to have news and information delivered directly to your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact
Close

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker